Over the years we have been struck by the vast number of people that do not know much, if anything, about the roles and responsibilities of their local elected officials. In fact, these local officials, especially district attorneys, sheriffs, and judges, have within their power the ability to solve some of the biggest problems in North Carolina’s criminal justice system, including mass incarceration, police accountability, racial bias, and the use of the death penalty. To close this knowledge gap, early in 2018 we launched the Vote4Justice initiative, a nonpartisan voter education training that we provide free of charge.

Vote4Justice is designed to fulfill two goals: education and mobilization. First, we teach participants about the roles and responsibilities of their local officials, and the specific ways district attorneys, sheriffs, and judges can address criminal justice problems. Second, if it is an election year, we help participants inform their vote, so they are ready to support reform-ready candidates. If the training is held between election cycles, we provide the resources they need to hold their current local officials accountable, and effectively advocate for change.

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